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NFL Lockout Watch, Day 130: New CBA Will Be Explained To Teams After It's Ratified
Published July 19, 2011
MAKING A SCHEDULE: In DC, Mark Maske reports if a new CBA is approved, free agency "likely would begin next week." Hundreds of players "are eligible for free agency," and there are "tentative plans for teams to be given a three-day window to try to re-sign their own free agents before those players would be eligible to sign with other clubs." It is "not clear if the opening of training camps would be pushed back." The Rams and Bears are scheduled to play in the Aug. 7 Pro Football HOF Game and are "scheduled to be at their training camps this weekend" (WASHINGTON POST, 7/19). Chicago Tribune reporter Brad Biggs noted free agency typically starts "at 12:01 east coast time, the middle of the night." Biggs: "Why not start free agency at, I don’t know, noon one day? ... You’d have NFL Network doing their thing, you’d have ESPN, just have these live shows and agents going bonkers, deals getting reported. That would make sense to me” (“Chicago Tribune Live,” Comcast SportsNet Chicago, 7/18).
RUSHING TO GET ON THE FIELD: In Chicago, David Haugh writes, "I don't know anybody in Chicago who, a year from now, will remember what happened in the first weekend of August 2011 in Canton, Ohio. Unless something bad happens to a Bears player in a game that should be cancelled immediately." The "only people who possibly could get valuable experience out of this game would be the trainers." Haugh: "Call it off now, Commissioner Goodell. ... The reward of preserving a full NFL exhibition schedule to make a nationally televised, business-as-usual PR statement on NBC isn't worth the risk of injury for players who need every possible practice to get back into football shape" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/19).
REFS READY FOR KICKOFF: FOXSPORTS.com's Mike Pereira reports the 121 NFL officials are "prepared and ready to go." The officials Sunday "completed a three-day clinic in Dallas, where -- among other things -- they were weighed, had their body fat and waist circumference measured and their body mass calculated." The officials "have been assigned training camps to attend and have gotten their preseason game assignments" (FOXSPORTS.com, 7/19).